When it comes to the matter of business growth and digital transformation, every business owner wants to acquire only the best means for their company. Even though the number of various ready-made digital solutions increases basically every minute, the most fitting option will be the one that was created specifically for you. Just like a fine suit has to be tailored to one’s measurements, the perfect software has to be customized to meet the requirements of your particular business. Many progressive organizations understand this and opt for custom programs to expand their functional capacity. In this article, we’ll answer the popular question “What is custom software?”, overview the process of its development and define its major advantages. Keep reading to enrich your knowledge about cutting-edge technologies.
What is bespoke software?
First, we have to mention that custom software actually has many other names. So let’s specify what custom-made software is also known as. This type of solution can often be referred to as bespoke, tailored, or tailor-made software but they’re all synonymical and don’t change the meaning of the term.
Let’s formulate the answer to the question “What is tailor-made software?” by giving an accurate definition.
Bespoke software is made to fulfill the unique requirements of an individual client or organization. This program has exclusive features and functionality aimed at executing specific tasks characteristic for your particular segment of the business.
You can obtain tailor-made software either by developing a new app or expanding the functionality of existing solutions in order to make them more customized to solve the challenges your company’s facing at the moment.
Even though developing bespoke software can take more time and money, it’s worth all the spending as it brings both short and long-term advantages for your firm by increasing overall productivity and efficiency of operations to satisfy any business requirement. A customized solution offers special opportunities to clients that you won't find in ready-made commercial applications. The customer can modify the software product with the software development team to better suit their conditions.
What is an example of customized software?
To provide a clearer vision, let’s augment our explanation of “What is custom software?” with examples. As we mentioned, one of the main characteristics of tailored software solutions is that they can be customized according to business and industry-specific requirements. Thus, there can be bespoke solutions for basically any trade. For example, medical offices can have their own digital systems to keep track of patients, their appointments, medical history, prescriptions, etc. as long as they are compliant to the standards and protocols like ISO, IEC, HIPAA, and others. Transportation companies like FedEx, Uber, XPO Logistics, and many others also use bespoke software to provide their clients with accurate information about their shipment progress, delivery time, arrival, etc. More examples of custom software might include solutions for business management, CRM, gaming, aviation, travel and hospitality booking, online banking, voice and image recognition, ecommerce apps, streaming services, and this list can go on depending on the industry.
As one of the top bespoke software development companies in New Jersey, Strand Management Solutions, Inc. has a considerable track record of successfully delivering customized software solutions. Therefore, we can also give you some custom software examples from our experience. In our portfolio, you can find bespoke software examples for tracking different processes like transactions, work progress, and membership, as well as client and employee tracking, workflow management solutions, scheduling, accounting, reporting, and many other programs for businesses. All these software products were tailor-made in accordance with the needs of our clients.
What is custom application development?
The process of planning, building, delivering, and maintaining tailored software for particular clients is known as custom application development. In general, customized application development comprises similar approaches and phases as other types of program creation. To be able to fully answer “What is bespoke software development?”, it’s better to look closely at this process step by step.
- Research and requirement analysis
In order to define, analyze, validate, and align stakeholders' expectations for new projects while taking into account any potential risks, bespoke software developers conduct requirements analysis. They also research the organization's business procedures, challenges, IT environment, and objectives.
- Strategy Planning
The team will start developing a plan and a detailed strategy for designing and implementing the software in a cost- and time-effective manner after conducting an analysis.
- Designing and prototyping
The blueprint for the finished product is created during the design phase of the bespoke application development. The team maps out every feature and function that will be used in the finished product. A prototype of the software can be created after the design has been completed.
- Custom programming
After the designing phase, bespoke software developers start custom software programming which is typically divided into smaller chunks so that the project's code can be created separately. Coding in sections with frequent releases enables more precise evaluations and helps lessen disruptions and delays.
The software must undergo extensive testing after it has been finished before launching to find issues during testing that might have gone unnoticed throughout the building process.
- Launch and support
Thanks to facilitated integration, a client company can quickly integrate the delivered custom program into its system and start using it. Employee training may be required to use the new software. Businesses can rely on bespoke software developers for continuing support to ensure the software's implementation is successful.
Reasons why custom software development is important
Tailor-made software brings many advantages to businesses thanks to its undeniably beneficial characteristics and features. More and more organizations recognize custom software development benefits and choose it to accelerate their progress. Explore major pros why custom software development is important and popular.
- Personalized features
Features flexibility is one of the custom software development benefits. This characteristic allows you to request a unique set of features and functional capabilities you want your future software to have. As a result, the bespoke business software will solve particular tasks and challenges that you need to get solved.
Scalability is a crucial indicator for expanding firms. Even if your demands may not be great right now, you still need to think about what you will need when your company starts expanding. It can be more cost-effective for you to purchase a custom software solution if scalability is a need for your software development needs.
- Number of users
Full ownership over your bespoke software gives you the authority to add any number of users anytime you want. You are not required to pay a user fee for any of the users you have.
- Special services
To differentiate yourself from your rivals, you must offer distinctive services, functionalities, and user experiences to your client base. In this case, tailored software is a perfect choice to strengthen your brand, while the generic solutions provided by some off-the-shelf products rarely provide unique features.
- High-quality product
Customized application development will deliver the outcomes you require if you want a high-quality program that has undergone thorough QA testing to give you optimal performance.
A program that is made expressly for you will be less bloated and only have the functionality that you request. In order to get an effective solution that provides you with the functionality you require without clogging your IT system with unnecessary features, choose custom-made software.
- Easier integration
A custom software product is better positioned to combine with the various digital tools and systems in your IT infrastructure. Since your bespoke business software adjusts to the existing IT ecosystem and not the other way around, the integration process is usually facilitated.
- Upgrades and maintenance
Your bespoke software development company will provide you with on-time fixes and ongoing maintenance if you have a custom software product. Most bespoke software development companies also can upgrade your custom program on demand adding any features you want.
- User training
Along with a top-notch tailored solution you can also receive employee and user training. This way your staff members won’t be required to figure out how to use the custom software product or its capabilities on their own, wasting valuable time.
The most recent developments in security, compliance, and data protection are embedded into a customized app that is part of a cloud-based platform, making it safer and simpler to store and transfer sensitive data.
Custom vs Off-the-shelf software
To put an emphasis on the value of tailor-made software, let’s compare it with a more traditional type of software – commercial off-the-shelf (COTS).
COTS software meaning refers to fully assembled programs with enhanced functionality that appeal to a wide range of users. Since they are not particularly special but rather all-encompassing and made for widespread commercial use, they can typically be integrated with many modern systems without complex settings.
Although there is a wide variety of software modules available, ordinary functionality is occasionally insufficient for complex or specialized assignments. Most off-the-shelf products can be customized, but you won't be able to fully meet all requirements with them. This is the main reason why businesses might prefer customized application software.
COTS vs Custom Solutions
|Off-the-shelf solution||You can immediately launch a product and get to work without having to create any of your own software.||Off-the-shelf products are initially less expensive, but as more users are connected, licenses are purchased, and service fees are continually paid, their underlying costs may rise over time.|
|Compared to software produced from scratch, the cost of ownership is significantly lower.||The accessible features might or might not completely satisfy your demands, reducing your purchasing options.|
|You can buy multipurpose solutions with many features off the shelf since developers strive to suit the needs of a wider user group.||Without the company's modernization plans' permission, the vendor of COTS can update and modify the solution whenever they see fit.|
|Developed communities can help by clearing up questions and sharing life hacks.||It's possible that the product won't work well with current systems or won't work well enough.|
|Professionals can install software and technical concerns can be resolved remotely without involving your own experts.|
|Custom software||Your business's processes are the starting point for custom apps.||Since custom development is more expensive than any subscription service, the initial cost will be higher.|
|To make the application more customer-focused, you have virtually limitless customizing options.||Creating a custom application can be a difficult and drawn-out process.|
|A carefully thought-out design provides minimized errors as well as a speedy adjustment to the staff and consumer funnel process.||In order to prevent potential limitations on a company, it is necessary to consider trends and dynamics of technology development.|
|You can integrate and expand software whenever you see necessary, and many core activities can be automated.|
|Through enhanced support, the dangers of external threats are greatly decreased.|
To ensure the completeness and consistency of your IT infrastructure, each piece of software has to be highly functional and to the purpose. As many processes of your organization will heavily depend on the chosen software, it’s vital for success to make the right choice. We can conclude that in such situations opting for bespoke software is the best solution. We hope this article helped you to get a sufficient answer to the question “What is tailored software?”, find out more about the development process and advantageous features of custom software solutions.
Strand Management Solutions, Inc. excels in providing professional services of bespoke software development. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need an ideal solution with unique features and high-quality performance. We’re here to put your innovative initiatives into action.